Professional Development Days

Professional Development (PD) Days are offered as part of a suite of programming supporting career management and professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The sessions will help you recognize your talents, pursue your interests, learn professional skills and make interdisciplinary connections that will help you excel in your chosen field.

The next workshops will be hosted from May 3-7, 2021. For sign-up and full details, please see below. All times are in MT.

These sessions may be used towards the University of Alberta Professional Development Requirement which includes an individualized career plan document called an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and the completion of eight hours of professional development activities inspired by your career plan.

The IDP outlines seven competencies. You will find IDP competency information in the workshop descriptions to help you determine which workshop will expand your desired skill areas.

Please note:

  • Please register early for these workshops, as spots may be limited.
  • Be sure to contact your department BEFORE registering. Your department may be using other courses or workshops to meet the Professional Development Requirement.  
  • Students who are on leave are not able to use the sessions for PD credit, however are certainly permitted to attend the sessions which are open to everyone on campus.
  • In keeping with our standard practice, attendees later than 10 minutes will not be admitted to the sessions.  
  • PD credit is only given to participants who attend the entire session and participate in the activities related to the sessions.  This may include polling, a pre-activity survey, completing a google form, and so forth that can take place prior, during, or post-event.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Reflect upon and evaluate your skills and competencies in the areas of creativity, communication, confidence, scholarship, ethical responsibility, critical thinking, and collaboration
  • Reflect on your career options based on your interests, skills, and values
  • Acquire new, or enhance existing skills and competencies in areas related to professional behaviours, the workplace, and career management.

Learn more and register:

Professional Development Orientation | Monday, May 3, 2021 | 12:00 - 1 :00 p.m.

Register here

PD Credit: None

Description: This session introduces students to the Professional Development (PD) Requirement, including the Individual Development Plan (IDP) and eight hours of professional development activities. Questions that will be addressed include: Why is professional development a requirement; how do I create my IDP; and, what counts as professional development activities for the eight-hour requirement? 

Facilitator: Deanna Davis, PhD

Deanna Davis is the Senior Lead and Educational Curriculum Developer for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR), where she designs impactful learning opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the areas of professional development and career pathing, teaching and learning, and academic integrity and ethics training. Responsible for programming related to the Individual Development Plan of the Professional Development Requirement, Deanna facilitates career exploration that helps people find meaning, joy, and purpose in their professional lives in ways that not only allow them to be more effective in their roles, but also positions them to have an impact on their community, Alberta, and beyond.  

Maximize Your LinkedIn Potential | Monday, May 3, 2021 | 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Register Here

PD Credit: 1 Hour

IDP Competencies: Confidence; Communication; Creativity

Description:  You have a LinkedIn account but aren't sure what messaging you should add to your profile. Maybe you are asking “Why should I even bother”?  What if you knew more than 90% of employers utilize LinkedIn at some stage of the hiring process? What if you could take steps now that would improve your hiring chances in the future? There are some easy actions you can take to make your profile pop out from others that may have similar qualifications to your own. Come learn how you can improve the potential of your profile and ways to utilize your account for benefits to your career.

Facilitator: Christine Gertz, MEd, MLIS

Christine Gertz is a long-time Library and Information Specialist for the Career Centre at the University of Alberta with many years of creating a collection of resources that develop career awareness. She also is incredibly supportive of people transitioning to the workplace and has served as a Settlement Support Mentor for the Catholic Social Services and is currently a volunteer with the Student Volunteer Campus Community. 

Digital Science Communication: Background, Barriers, and Battleplans | Tuesday, May 4, 2021 | 9:30 - 11: 30 a.m.

Register Here

PD Credit:  2 Hours

IDP Competencies: Confidence; Communication; Creativity

Description: WISEST (Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology) has been promoting diversity of genders represented in STEM since 1982.  An emerging issue is a lack of diversity in Digital Science Communication (DSC). In this session, we will provide background as to why this is an emerging barrier, tackle some of the challenges faced when embracing this way of communicating and give strategies to improve your own digital science presence. This session aims to engage young professionals who are just beginning their journey in the STEM fields through seasoned professionals who are looking to find new and innovative ways to increase visible diversity in STEM through social media. 

Facilitator: Helen Yip, MSc

Helen Yip is the Outreach Coordinator at WISEST (Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology). She designs and executes community programs that effectively target underrepresented groups in hopes of creating a more inclusive STEM discipline. She also manages all of the WISEST social media channels as well as curates the monthly newsletter that helps connect students, educators and parents, to STEM opportunities and resources.

GSIP: A Way to Open Employer Doors | Tuesday, May 4, 2021 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Register Here

PD Credit: 1 Hour

IDP Competencies: Confidence; Communication; Creativity

Description: Finding a job during the pandemic is a challenge. However, some graduate students have created their own internships to gain professional experience, grow their network, and create the opportunity for more permanent jobs in the future. What steps can you take to create an internship for yourself? How do you approach potential employers, and what barriers do you need to consider before you even start? This session will introduce you to a panel of graduate students who took on this challenge and successfully created their own internships. GSIP staff will offer additional tips and strategies for connecting with employers.

Facilitator: Andrea Spevak, MEd, and a panel of former GSIP interns

Andrea Spevak is the Internship Advisor for the Graduate Student Internship Program (GSIP). She was first on the ground to get GSIP growing and has helped place over 650 UAlberta grad students from all disciplines since 2016. Andrea works with a variety of companies and organizations, from the government to industry to not-for-profit, and has a diverse background across many sectors, including Research Manager, Entrepreneur, Program Coordinator with the Federal government, and ESL instructor. Andrea has a good sense of the challenges that people with post-graduate degrees face when searching for employment.

Getting Your IDP Started—Exploring Career Values and Success | Tuesday, May 4, 2021 | 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Register Here

PD Credit: 2 Hours

IDP Competencies: Confidence; Communication; Creativity; Critical Analysis

Description: This workshop combines pre-workshop activities (completed independently in advance) and a virtual, face-to-face workshop. Through this combined approach of asynchronous and synchronous learning, you will have time for personal reflection and discussion, which will lay the foundation for the completion of your Individual Development Plan (IDP). You will take time to reflect on what you like doing, what you hope to create, who you hope to inspire, and how you want to contribute to social issues you care about (IDP: Step 1—Ideas Generation). Second, guided reflection on your experiences will help you begin to recognize the technical, transferable, and personal skills you bring to the workplace (IDP: Step 2—Self Assessment).  Finally, you will consider your career-related values and personal definition of career success.

Facilitators: Deanna Davis, PhD, and Justin Pritchard, MDes, CCDP

Deanna Davis is the Senior Lead and Educational Curriculum Developer for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR), where she designs impactful learning opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the areas of professional development and career pathing, teaching and learning, and academic integrity and ethics training. Responsible for programming related to the Individual Development Plan of the Professional Development Requirement, Deanna facilitates career exploration that helps people find meaning, joy, and purpose in their professional lives in ways that not only allow them to be more effective in their roles, but also positions them to have an impact on their community, Alberta, and beyond.

Justin Pritchard is the Team Lead for T2C and Career Coaching at the Career Centre. He also is a Certified Career Development Professional (CCDP) and Career Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP) who specializes in career and life design. Educating students and professionals on how to apply design in life to foster creativity, curiosity and confidence are what he is known for on and off-campus. Justin’s design journey began 15 years ago while studying and working in apparel design and visual display followed by visual communications. He completed a Design Diploma, Bachelor of Design (BDes) and Master of Design (MDes) terminal research degree at the University of Alberta, and works as a sessional faculty member in the Department of Art and Design.

Innovation Bridge—Mitacs Entrepreneur Accelerate Opportunity | Wednesday, May 5, 2021 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Register Here

PD Credit: 1 Hour

IDP Competencies: Confidence; Communication; Creativity

Description: Mitacs Accelerate Entrepreneur funds student and postdoctoral fellows to take their research or technology to the next step by building their entrepreneurial skills. This is typically done in partnership with incubators on campus, so participants are supported in their journey. What does a typical journey look like for someone in this type of internship?  What is considered to be a successful internship? How do supervisors respond to their students and postdocs being part of this program?  What are the biggest challenges? What happens to participants after their internship? How does this program leverage a participant for other opportunities?

Facilitators: Trevor Wiltzen, MBA, and Eric Loo, PhD

Trevor Wiltzen is the current Business Development Director with Mitacs and has 16 years of practical, senior leadership experience at the University of Alberta, City of Edmonton, Alberta Cancer Foundation, and various non-profits. He has a passion to build collaborative relationships and partnerships with a wide range of industry, academic, government and non-profit stakeholders and professionals.  

Eric Loo is the Director of Business Development and Team Lead of the Prairies division of Mitacs. He has nearly 10 years of experience working with private sector businesses and building collaborations with post-secondary partners. During his graduate studies, he volunteered as the Site Coordinator for Let’s Talk Science and developed numerous relationships with faculty and staff. He has a keen understanding of the challenges of graduate life and creating a clear career path.

A Look Behind the Job Postings—The Role of HR Staff | Thursday, May 6, 2021 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Register Here

PD Credit: 1 Hour

IDP Competencies: Confidence; Communication; Critical Analysis

Description: When you see a job posting, do you wonder how it was created? You know there is HR (Human Resource) staff that may have prepared it and will likely screen your applications, but have you ever spoken to someone who has held an HR role? Are you even “allowed” to reach out to them when applying for a position? How do they come up with the salary range? This session will give us an opportunity to meet with some key people who understand the HR world and they will share some insights into how you may better prepare your job applications to find success in employment.

Facilitators: Kimberly Matheson, BSc, and Casey Kirkpatrick, and Tyree McCrackin, MA

Kimberley Matheson is the Branch Manager within the Service Innovation and Performance unit of the City of Edmonton, and former Branch Manager with the Talent Acquisition, Service and Solutions Unit of the City of Edmonton. She has many years of experience working within municipal government agencies, including the City of Saskatoon where she held the roles of Director of  Employee Experience and Performance, Director of Strategic and Business Planning, and Manager of Occupational Health and Safety,

Casey Kirkpatrick is the Interim Talent Acquisition Manager for the University of Alberta Human Resources Unit. She has also held the position of Regional Professional Operations Leader at Manpower Services Alberta, a staffing and recruiting company, as well as held Branch Manager and General Manager positions for other companies giving her many years of experience in human resources. She also volunteered as an HR Advisory Committee member for Bow Valley College and helped found GenYYC, a new leadership development program designed in partnership with the Calgary Chamber and the Calgary Foundation.  

Tyree McCrackin is a Career Advisor who assists current graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and alumni with work search documents, interview preparation, and career management strategies at the University of Alberta's Career Centre.  Before coming to the University of Alberta, Tyree was the Chief Cultural Officer at Standard Scaffold and Insulation Inc., the Human Resource Manager for Industrial Paramedic Services and Recruitment Centre Manager for Ensign Energy Services.

Rapid LinkedIn/CV/Résumé Review | Friday, May 7, 2021 | 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Register Here

PD Credit: None

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) and the U of A Career Centre have partnered to bring an exclusive LinkedIn/CV/Rapid Résumé Review session for graduate students and postdocs registered in PD Days! You can register for a 15-minute session with the Career Centre for a review of your resume, CV, or LinkedIn profile. You will be sharing this information through the screen sharing feature in Google Meets. Limited space. 

How to Register: 

  • Log into campusBridge:  Use the campusBridge navigation bar on the left-hand side and go to Career Centre Appointments.  
  • Click on Book by Appointment Type to find the relevant appointment. 
  • Click Book under the appointment type. All available appointment times will show up on the far right
  • Select a time and date and complete the intake form and click Book Appointment 

Note: You may also watch this short instructional video on how to book a Rapid Review through campusBRIDGE or check out the Career Centre webpage for more instructions on how to prepare for the event.

JEDI Strategies For Your Career Management Journey | Friday, May 7, 2021 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Register Here

PD Credit: 1 Hour

IDP Competencies: Confidence, Communication, Ethical Responsibility

Description: With the frequent news of disparity in employment and earnings based on gender, race, and education, there is no surprise that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have considerable concern about how justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) play out in career planning. This session would focus on education, reflection, and application. Students will learn about the historical construction of JEDI and exclusion, examine how JEDI impacts their career management personally, and think about how to apply what they learn in their own work.

Facilitators: Soni Dasmohapatra, MPA, and Emily Marriott, BA, BEd

Soni Dasmohapatra currently leads the Career Mentoring Program with the responsibility of enabling students to grow professionally. Soni has held a diversity of roles over the years including owning her own consulting business, she worked with the Government of Alberta, Edmonton ShiftLab 1.0, and was the grant coordinator at the Edmonton Heritage Council. When she lived in Toronto, Soni supported social innovation with organizations such as the City of Toronto and the community not for profits United Way, Laidlaw and Maytree Foundations. Soni was a senior project manager with the Government of Ontario and a consultant with the United Nations. 

Emily Marriott has worked as the Graduate Student Internship Program Career Advisor for three years, following a position as a Career Educator with the Career Centre. As a certified teacher, Emily has worked with individuals across age groups in a variety of circumstances. In her current role, she meets with graduate students to prepare job applications and practice interview skills and supports current and incoming interns in their placements. Through meeting with hundreds of graduate students, Emily has a strong understanding of the challenges and anxieties students face when preparing for job applications.